Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It
Update: You guys are amazing! We’re completely sold out of Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It!
Blueberry Lemon who?
Blueberry Lemon who?
Orange you glad that Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It comes out on Friday?!?
It’s not easy to improve upon a classic. (New Coke, anyone?) And our Crushin’ It is definitely a classic.
Yet, as anyone who’s been to a beach bar over the past few years can tell you, while the Orange Crush is definitely the grand-mack-daddy of them all, each bar will have its own variant or two, changing up the fruits, the alcohols, and, in turn, putting its own spin on a tried-and-true favorite.
“When I think of Crush, traditionally orange comes to mind,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello. “But, as the regular Orange Crush grew in popularity, different flavor mixtures began to occur in bars across our area. It naturally made sense for us to follow in that tradition. You will see now that bars carry dozens of varieties so we decided to do the same and appease all of our fans who each have individual favorites!”
So, we’ve been trying our hand at that a bit, ourselves. Last year, we came out with a grapefruit variant. Excellent in its own right, this year, we wanted to change it up a bit.
“Some people only want a traditional cheese pizza, some prefer pepperoni,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink. “Some aren’t satisfied with those options and want more options! Life is full of all the colors of the rainbow, and that’s why there’s vanilla and chocolate and mint chocolate chip.
“People like their options, man, so you gotta give it to ‘em!”
And bars throughout the area have certainly been… inventive… with their flavor combinations when it comes to the Crush.
“Have you seen some of the other Crush variants out there?” Brian continues. “Obviously the Orange Crush is the OG, and the Grapefruit Crush is definitely next in line as far as the ‘other’ Crushes. But the bars along the Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland shores have really come out with some awesome and inventive styles, sometimes playing it safe with a ‘Half and Half’ Crush, other times throwing caution to the wind and doing what feels right and coming up with a Key Lime Pie Crush, or a Strawberry Shortcake Crush. Why deprive the world of such wonderful creations? Let’s have some fun!”
So, when deciding upon our next Crushin’ It flavor explosion, we decided to look a little closer to home.
“We’re the Garden State,” Brian says, “known as much for our blueberries as we are for our tomatoes, but at this point, we have some pretty pedestrian numbers when it comes to blueberry beers.”
We’ve done a handful throughout the years — Something Blue, the original Tiny Drink Umbrella, and our recent collaboration with Night Shift, Brewberry –, but other than those few, we really haven’t played in the blueberry end of the pool too often.
Yet, the time has come, even though blueberry can be notoriously tricky in beer.
“Blueberry is a tough fruit to pull off in a beer without the blueberry becoming too artificial,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “Blueberries are also pretty acidic, so you need to find that balance in the beer so that it complements the lemon. I think we nailed it in Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It.”
Furthermore, when used in beer, blueberries can come across as muted — either a hint of sweetness or of tartness — or, worse, completely generic.
“I realize saying that I’m probably losing a lot of my Jersey Cred amongst this fine state’s blueberry aficionados, and I swear I mean no disrespect,” Brian says, “but when it comes to applying it to a beer there are other, more aggressive berries to choose from.”
More aggressive than a berry from New Jersey?!? We didn’t think it was possible, but it’s true. When it comes to berries in beer, blueberries are better for background — they definitely add layers, but not much flash.
“When we started talking about variants for Crushin’ It and blueberry quickly became a standout,” Brian continues, “I knew we would need to pair it off another fruit that would be complementary and not clash with the blueberries. Lime or orange most assuredly wouldn’t’ve worked, and a more tart/aggressive berry such as blackberry or raspberry and the blueberry gets completely lost. So it really didn’t take more than a quick moment to decide to pair it with lemon.”
Generally speaking, our Crushin’ It variants keep the same base to the beer — a malt profile of pilsner, oats, and wheat, and our London Ale II yeast — but we’ll switch up the hops a bit to bring out the fruit flavors. Our OG Orange Crushin’ It has Citra, Azacca, and Mosaic — for the Blueberry Lemon variant, we removed the Citra and Azacca in favor of Lemondrop.
“We could’ve kept the hops the same and it would’ve been mostly fine and probably would’ve worked,” Brian says, “but with how fruity and aromatic hops are these days, it felt silly not to pair the fruit going into the crush with hops that would best accentuate the fruit.”
And, when it comes to Lemondrop, the name pretty much says it all.
“Not only is Lemondrop is one of the more lemony hops out there,” Brian says, “but we don’t get to play around with Lemondrop regularly so it felt like a great fit. And Mosaic has pretty pronounced berry characteristics to it.”
Everything comes together to create an intensely refreshing brew, with the Mosaic and Lemondrop hops accentuating the fresh flavors of blueberry and lemon.
“The color is brilliant!” Brian says. “And the hops come through really well, definitely more than OG Crushin’ It.”
Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It releases at noon on Friday, only in the Tasting Room and Brewtique, $14.99+tax. Don’t miss it!